But luck was on her side when doctors told her they had found the organ donor she has been hoping for.
So instead of living her life in fear, she was finally able to take a breath of fresh air — literally.
Miss Sterjovski, of Penshurst, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was six.
She had a double lung transplant three months ago.
The condition affects organs, causing gradual deterioration.
Miss Sterjovski, a former student of Danebank School at Hurstville, returned to the school to share her experiences with the girls this week.
She spoke about the importance of becoming an organ donor.
When she attended the school, Miss Sterjovski completed her HSC despite suffering from constant fatigue.
But she had to defer her university studies when her lung function dropped to 19 per cent.